A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Bonnier Corp. & Source Interlink Swap Publications – Cycle World, Motorcyclist, & Sport Rider Now Under One Roof

05/20/2013 @ 4:54 pm, by Jensen Beeler26 COMMENTS

Bonnier Corp. & Source Interlink Swap Publications   <em>Cycle World</em>, <em>Motorcyclist</em>, & <em>Sport Rider</em> Now Under One Roof monopoly money 635x400

Interesting news for American motorcycle enthusiasts, as nearly all your printed two-wheeled information is set to come from a singular company in the coming future. Already the recent purchaser of Cycle World, Bonnier Corporation seems poised to control a significant portion of the two-wheeled industry’s printed and online press.

Inking a two-way deal with Source Interlink, Bonnier Corp. receives in the transaction Motorcyclist, Sport Rider, Dirt RiderMotorcycle Cruiser, Hot Bike, Baggers, Super Streetbike, Street Chopper, and ATV Rider. In exchange, Source Interlink receives the TransWorld extreme and urban sports properties (except TransWorld Snowboarding), as well as Sound + Vision magazine.

According to Bonnier, no layoffs will occur as a result of the transaction (for now, at least), and the reshuffling of publications seems to be more of a sign that the two publishers aim to move away from having diverse horizontal holdings (a publication title in each niche market), to a more vertical structure (owning multiple titles in select market niches).

It is not clear how Bonnier Corporation will “create business efficiencies” within its new two-wheeled acquisitions, it is of note however that consumers will be faced with getting the bulk of their printed motorcycle news from a single corporation.

While our immediate concern with this news is the monopolization of the motorcycle media market, consumers should also be apprehensive about  a singular voice now dominating what used to be a variety of two-wheeled perspectives. We’re sure the parties involved disagree with those two statements, but as always, time will tell.

Source: Bonnier Corp.

Comment:

  1. Damo says:

    WTF/Mindblown.

    I am not sure how I feel about this. Cycleworld is the last bastion of proper, unbiased, honest, American, printed, motorcycle journalism. Hopefully the cream rises to the top, otherwise I’ll have to shell out a pricey sub to Bike UK or Fast Bikes.

    Reading Peter Egan’s monthly column is worth the price of subscription to Cycleworld alone.

    Sport rider is usually way too euro obsessed and often their tests make no fuggin sense (although the are getting better.)

    Motorcyclist Magazine employs Jack Lewis, which is enough reason to never buy their magazine under any circumstances. The man is a sanctimonious douchebag. The mag is a glorified Ducati ad.

  2. Hmm… I’m taken back to circa 1980, when Hachette-Filipacchi acquired Cycle from Ziff-Davis. It owned Cycle World, too. And in their “wisdom” they killed a great magazine — Cycle — and preserved CW.

    Cycle World is no Cycle; neither is Motorcyclist. But unless Bonnier displays an unforeshadowed and nuanced sense of market segmentation, there won’t be two mainstream/broad spectrum titles on the market for long.

  3. paulus - Thailand says:

    … at least the web is still a good source for quality information (and more current too) ;)

  4. 2ndclass says:

    @ Damo,

    You can get a subscription to Fast Bikes online through Zimio rather than paying through the nose to get it shipped internationally.

  5. smiler says:

    Lucky there is AAR and the internet.

  6. Kevin says:

    Usually not a good sign to “go vertical” as it limits AD revenue and shows a desperate grasp to control something when you feel like you’re loosing control.

    Let’s hope Dorna doesn’t see it as only one photographer needed for all those same publisher rags. I could see them charging $500 a photog to pay for those rooms from the Fine Resorts and Hotels listing they stay in like at CoTA.

    Fingers crossed for the publishing industry.

  7. Damo says:

    @2ndclass

    Thanks for the heads up! That is substantial savings.

  8. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    But is there really anything to worry about? The magazines can monopolize all they want right? The world changed, variety is found in this medium. The shift away from the the printed word to “electrons” is probably why this had to happen and it still won’t be enough. No?

    Btw, the real news here is that they bought “Baggers” and “Street Chopper.” Damn them! I am apprehensive about a singular voice now dominating which tattoo covered hotties I get to see in the center pages.

  9. Brij says:

    Damo,
    i will have to disagree with a few of your statements, yes i do subscribe to cycle world (mainly for peter Egans article, that by itself for me is worth the subscription), and to motorcyclist for a better covereage on bikes. over the years i have seen the quality of writing and the material that motorcyclist provides to be lot more user friendly to the every day man than cycle world. It is no ducati ad magazine. but this murger really stinks cos i enjoyed reading the two different views that the magazines had. I hope they are able to keep them that way even after the murger.

  10. Smitch says:

    Used to read both Cycle World and Motorcyclist, but I no longer need across the board coverage of the entire industry when I’m only interested in Sportsbikes. All either of these mags cover anyway is what’s coming out and paint it in the most positive light possible so as not to offend their advertisers.

    Enter Performance Bikes magazine from the UK, I prefer it to Fast Bikes and all the rest. Instead of four or six pages in the back dedicated to “long term testers” they do long articles on older generation bikes and readers rides. Far more interesting. I get news on latest new bikes for free online!

  11. Steve Zielenski says:

    All of these magazines are past their prime. The “editors” seem to be out of touch with today’s market (most are aged dinosaurs) and continue to hype “bold new graphics” as this years better mousetrap. If you read the articles carefully, they are just statistics fests from manufacturer marketing materials – very little of the content is actually “riding impressions”. A sad fact of the industry’s downturn is that older bikes are much more cost effective options and very little has changed for most of the japanese bikes since 2007/08… For my money I subscribe to SUPERBIKE, BIKE and FAST BIKES via zinio and pocketmags etc.. at least they were born in the last 50 years and actually ride the bikes.

  12. John D says:

    If I were employed at Motorcyclist, I’d start sending out resumes. I subscribe to both magazines. The editorials of Matthew Miles, Peter Egan and Kevin Cameron simply make the magazine. In my opinion, Cycle World is the standard of monthly printed American moto journalism. While great internet sites like A&R will continue to provide more current info, sometimes there is simply something better about print.

  13. Damo says:

    BIKE and FAST BIKES have really become my new favorites.

    I am going to take everyone’s advice here and hit up some zinio subs. Hadn’t even heard of the service before today actually.

  14. Slothrop says:

    I’ve gotten Bike magazine for many years through Motorsport Publications:

    http://classicbikebooks.com/catalog/index.php/magazine-subscriptions-c-27

    It’s a great mag. The U.S. mags seem really childish and pathetic in comparison.

  15. jr2 says:

    This generation of print is at best on life support…

    CW, MS, SR, at one time I was an avid reader and subscriber to them all… no more…

    They all it seems to me, are caught in the past (1980′s and 1990′s, even the 1970′s.. jeez!) and even though I’m of that generation, I just don’t pine for the past that much (which is why I find Egan UNreadable… and while I respect Cameron technical chops immensely, but he too is of a generation past…).

    Also, I don’t find the info included useful and TIMELY (and you can partially blame the US Postal Service for their asinine magazine delivery schedules (two weeks after they hit the stores, come on…)).

    As for the web sites for these mags, they bagger me unmercifully with ads so I just don’t go there very often (or google my way into a specific article or topic).

    And please, stop talking about Cycle… yes it was a good read… but it’s been gone for 20 years… get over it…

    So, as my generation ages and dies, or buys a cruiser or an “adventure” bike (jeez… what a euphemism for “old dude bike”) the subscriber base for these mags slowly goes with it…

    The brit mags are better, but, they still suffer from the same USPS issues

    The web is a better option for me… but no one seems to have found the “right combo” yet… (AAR is a leader in my opinion… but survives it seems because of it’s small size and relative small profit requirements… See MotoMatters as another reasonable example of a small boutique focused on the MotoGP world, of great content yet terrible format…)

    And no trees get killed for 50% of the print run to end up in the dumpster (sorry, recycle bin)…

  16. fazer6 says:

    Too bad. HFL is dead now too, just a bunch of ad-pandering shills there now.

  17. Randy says:

    Smitch said:
    “All either of these mags cover anyway is what’s coming out and paint it in the most positive light possible so as not to offend their advertisers.”

    I have to agree. Ever since Motorcyclist ran the article “Motorcycle Helmet Performance: Blowing the Lid Off”
    http://www.westcoastweasels.com/archives/PDF/Blowing_the_Lid_Off.pdf
    and subsequently lost helmet advertising, and as a result fired Dexter Ford:
    http://rideapart.com/2010/07/leaked-docs-show-motorcyclist-caved-to-advertiser-pressure-fired-editor/
    American motorcycle magazines have lost all objectivity. They never criticize anything. They never do exposés anymore. They are still an interesting read, but are more like reading a product brochure than a piece of journalism.

  18. Monopolies are always always bad for consumers, employees and societies. Once you have no alternative, you have to accept whatever they drop at your feet, because there’s nowhere else to go. Monopolies are the opposite free markets and free enterprise.

  19. Tanker Man says:

    I get all three rags (Sport Rider, Motorcyclist, and Cycle World). I should get a bundle discount. One thing I’ve learned, after having test-ridden a lot of high-performance bikes and buying a lot of them, is one has to read between the lines on the magazine test-ride articles. They gloss over major faults so subtly that you don’t realize it until one has read hundreds of articles and test-ridden dozens of the bikes written about.

    May The Force Be With You

  20. Faust says:

    @tankerman

    I think you’ll find that while American mags gloss over major faults, several British mags don’t. Pick up Fast Bike and see what you think. My take on the Brit mags is this:

    Fast Bike – great writing, great pictures, honest reviews. The writing style is a bit relaxed and uses a sprinkling of UK terminology and occasional profanity (ie when they compared the speed triple to the Ducati Streetfighter, they referred to the speed triple as “shit” by comparison. Pulling no punches for a British mag reviewing a Brit bike eh?) Definitely focused on the sportier side.

    Bike – the single greatest bike magazine ever. More broad range of topics than Fast Bike, a lot of interesting historical articles comparing classic bikes from rival manufacturers. An all around great read.

    Performance Bike – good effort, but a little amateurish. Very interesting articles, good interviews, but not as high quality as the previous two. You’ll notice the occasional blatant typo and some of the writers (read Emma) go way off the deep end of British slang. Still good though.

    Superbike – in the past it used to be kind of like the UK version of SSB where it was more about looking at pics of girls than reading about good topics. Then it got good for a while and now under new leadership it’s just garbage. For example, they wrote an article about whether or not traction control on street bikes can make you faster on the track. They put a track day novice on an s1000rr with abs and traction control and had him do laps. Then they had him go out on a stock GSX-R 1000…. Surprise surprise, he was faster on the BMW. They then claimed that the traction control helps, but you still need to work on throttle control skills to go fast on track… No kidding? I mean why not just turn the TC off on the BMW? Stupid. I’ll never read this one again.

  21. Tanker Man says:

    Why did they drop my previous comment? Must have been too hard hitting.

  22. Tanker Man says:

    @ Faust. Thanks!

  23. Damo says:

    @Faust

    Perfect summary.

  24. alex says:

    The single biggest problem is that they just like many companies producing them have lost the point – selling motorcycles to motorcyclists is easy – Honda overlooking the fact that many more people go to SEMA than any motorcycle show and devoting 20 feet of floor space to new models is just dumb.

    In this business they need to move from focus groups to open mikes and find the disconnect.

    The same thing that drives new motorcycle sales drives readership.

  25. Moto bell says:

    Don’t get ZINIO anymore .. Get the direct mags in iPad. Bike and fast bikes are best.. I never missed a single copy of cycle world nice I came to the US 20 years ago.. But all American auto and moto mags suck when compared to Brit mags. Besides few good features there are just marketing pamphlets.

  26. zipidachimp says:

    I’ve still got the last issue of ‘Cycle’. It’s going with me to the grave.
    All I buy now is Motorcycle Classics and Cafe’racer. This is not progress!